Spider Veins
and Reticular Veins

Spider veins are the tiny red or blue veins that may appear anywhere on the body, but more often on the legs, ankles, face, chest, or abdomen. They are extremely common. Spider veins may appear to be short, seemingly unconnected lines, each about a hair’s width, or they may resemble a spider web or tree with branches. In medical terms spider veins are called telangiectasias and usually occur in association with larger dilated blood vessels (often blue / green in colour) called reticular veins. Dilated blood vessels may cause aching especially with prolonged standing.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins are often a flow-on effect of varicose veins in nearby blood vessels. When the damaged section of vein (varicose vein) fills with blood and swells to its capacity, the overflow of blood creates tiny spider veins close to the skin. This is why it is important to treat the underlying cause, and not just the spider veins that can be seen on the skin surface.

Are spider veins dangerous?

Generally speaking, the answer is no. However, if spider veins are a result of underlying venous disease, then the underlying condition causing the spider veins must be treated, as it could lead to further complications if left untreated.

Do you need these veins?

Although dilated blood vessels do carry blood they are not efficient and are often not necessary to the circulatory system. The body will have already established an alternative route for the blood to travel back more efficiently to the heart. Thus, they can be treated without a negative effect on circulation. Treatment will actually improve circulation.

There is an approximately 80% chance for a greatly improved appearance with direct vision sclerotherapy, depending on the severity of the problem. Treatment will also usually relieve any symptoms caused by the veins.

Spider veins appearing in the lower leg, ankle or foot can be a sign of serious varicose vein disease. Spider veins in those areas are almost always fed by a larger internal vein that is malfunctioning, and could lead to further complications if left untreated.

How do phlebologists classify the severity of venous disease?

In the past it has been tricky for phlebologists and health professionals to define vein disorders because of the range and severity of symptoms. By creating the CEAP venous disease classification system, discussion of conditions and treatments is standardised across the world. Read more about the CEAP classification system.

How We Treat Spider Veins and Reticular Veins

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is a highly specialised procedure involving injecting a sclerosant solution into the abnormal veins using ultrasound guidance, causing the vein wall to collapse. The veins dissolve and disappear as the body gradually absorbs them.

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Direct Vision Sclerotherapy

The gold standard treatment of spider veins is direct vision sclerotherapy, also known as standard sclerotherapy or microsclerotherapy. It involves the injection of a special solution through a tiny needle into the spider veins, which causes them to collapse and eventually harden over.

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AccuVein Vein Viewing System

AccuVein illuminates veins that may be otherwise undetectable with the naked eye. This improves accuracy of treatment and allows the phlebologist to confirm visually that the treatment has been successful.

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Your vein surgeon will choose the treatment that perfectly suits your veins.

Spider Veins Before & After Treatment

Patient
66-year-old woman

The Problem
Prominent left lower leg capillary clusters with heaviness and tiredness in the leg.

The patient received treatment elsewhere using surface sclerotherapy alone and she noticed the veins were worse afterward. She was never given an ultrasound to check for underlying varicose veins that could be feeding it. Patients should always receive a diagnostic duplex ultrasound to rule out abnormal veins that may be feeding surface veins.

Treatment Method
A duplex ultrasound revealed an underlying great saphenous vein feeding the surface veins. The great saphenous vein was treated using Endovenous Laser Ablation and surface veins were treated with Ultrasound-Guided and Direct Vision Sclerotherapy.

Results
Results at 13 months show the surface and saphenous veins have been permanently treated. The patient was extremely satisfied with her results.

The Problem
Reticular and telangiectatic (spider veins).

Treatment Method
Direct Vision Sclerotherapy and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

Results
Resolution of symptoms.

Patient
56-year-old woman

The Patient
Prominent spider vein networks and underlying feeder veins on the back and sides of the thighs.

Treatment Method
Surface/Direct Vision Sclerotherapy

Results
12 months post-treatment shows the resolution of the visible spider veins and feeders. The patient is pleased with the result. She will continue to monitor her legs over the coming years and have a maintenance treatment as required.

Patient
56-year-old woman

The Patient
Prominent spider vein networks and underlying feeder veins on the back and sides of the thighs.

Treatment Method
Surface/Direct Vision Sclerotherapy

Results
12 months post-treatment shows the resolution of the visible spider veins and feeders. The patient is pleased with the result. She will continue to monitor her legs over the coming years and have a maintenance treatment as required.

Patient
56-year-old woman

The Problem
Left inner thigh capillary networks directly fed by an incompetent internal great saphenous vein.

Treatment Method
Endovenous Laser Ablation and Sclerotherapy.

Results
Resolution of the visible spider veins.

Patient
40-year-old woman

The Problem
Prominent feeder and spider veins

Treatment Method
One treatment with direct vision sclerotherapy. The originating feeder veins as well as resulting spider veins are treated meaning they will not return.

Results
The image shows immediately after treatment. At 5 months following treatment, the veins had completely resolved. The patient was very satisfied with the result.

Patient
50-year-old female patient

The Problem
Superficial reticular veins of the left outer and inner thigh.

Treatment Method
Sclerotherapy

Results
Upon follow up review at 12 months, there was complete resolution of the superficial veins with an excellent cosmetic outcome.

Patient
50-year-old female patient

The Problem
Superficial reticular veins of the left outer and inner thigh.

Treatment Method
Sclerotherapy

Results
Upon follow up review at 12 months, there was complete resolution of the superficial veins with an excellent cosmetic outcome.

Medicare Rebate & Costs

The cost of treating varicose veins depends on severity of the veins as well as which treatment is used. We discuss these costs in detail at your initial consultation.


A Medicare rebate is claimable on all varicose vein procedures, except the most superficial spider veins.

Schedule an Appointment

Call 1300 281 339 or send us a message and we will contact you

Our friendly staff will discuss all important aspects of your initial appointment and what you can expect.